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January 07, 2005 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-01-07

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"This is really a New York kind of
style and they want to be close to the
heart of the excitement. It is the right
spot in the right market," explains
Wolfson.
That fact hasn't been lost on
Wolfson, Alan Singer and David
Robinson, partners in the Farmington
Hills-based RSW The first furnished
model in the Troy Street Lofts opened
on Oct. 17 and the company has two
more downtown Royal Oak loft proj-
ects underway. Wolfson and Singer,
through their Singer-Wolfson
Development Co., are also planning a
major downtown Royal Oak hotel
and office project
You've seen lofts like these in
Woody Allen movies, but you've
never seen them in our area. Each
dramatically designed loft features 12-
or 20-foot exposed ceilings with spiral
ductwork, two-story glass walls with
panoramic views, a balcony with glass
railing and a gas fireplace with stain-
less steel surround.
Each loft has Euro-style appliances,
a Berloni Italian kitchen, granite or
concrete countertops with an island,
hardwood and stained concrete floors,
industrial style ceiling fans, a galva-
nized steel front door, industrial light-
ing features and lower-level enclosed
parking.
According to Khristian Speelman,
the project's loft sales/marketing
director, the lofts range from 1,094 to
2,223 square feet. True loft living will
cost you anywhere from $279,000 to
$459,000 depending upon size of the
unit. That's still considerably under
the going rate for most loft space far-
ther north in Birmingham.
The loft revolution began in
Manhattan's SoHo district in the
1950s when artists and residents
decided to convert vacant industrial
and warehouse buildings into spa-
cious living and work areas. The
exposed ceilings, multistory windows,
open floor plans, cast-iron framing

and cement floors were perfect set-
tings for studios, galleries and avant-
garde homes.
The three partners in RSW
Development Co. have been active
area builders. Wolfson, a builder for
20 years, partnered with Singer two-
and-a-half years ago.
Singer is a third-generation builder
whose family tradition began in
1920 with his grandfather's J. Singer
and Sons and later became the
Singer Building Co. His projects
include the new Dexter-Davison
Shopping Center in Oak Park and
the Wellington Place condos in
Southfield. He has served as chair-
man of real estate for the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
for four years and serves on the
Federation board.
David Robinson has been a builder
for more than 50 years.
Construction is underway at
RSW's next downtown Royal Oak
project, Main Street Lofts at Main
Street and 11 Mile Road, The
Center Street Lofts will go up a few
blocks to the west on 11 Mile.
But their most ambitious plan for
Royal Oak is the hotel and office to
be built on Williams and Fifth. The
10-story, 250,000-square-foot art
deco building will feature 58,000
square feet of loft-style offices,
between 10,000 and 16,000 square
feet of retail space, and a 50- and
100-room hotel and residential lofts.
The structure will be similar to the
SoHo Grand and TriBeCa Grand in
New York City with metal stairways,
brick walls, open ceilings, and
exposed ductwork.
The Royal Oak City Council
agreed on Dec. 6 to move forward
on the project with the Downtown
Development Authority. "They gave
us a green light for working with the
planning department," said Singer,
who estimates completion in the lat-
ter part of 2006. ❑

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